birds and the bees, charlotte aninion-de guzman, charlotte de guzman, conversations with your child, how to talk to your child about sex, parenting advice, parenting tips, saintcharlotte, sanctuary, self-help, stcharlotte
In a culture where tradition and religion play major roles in every day lives, sex is still a topic that most people in my country doesn’t talk about openly (although based on the population boom we have, I pretty much think that everyone seems to be doing it ;D)
So this is why I nearly dropped the book I was reading when my 9-year old kid asked me what sex is. This happened one fine afternoon while she was watching, “Pitch Perfect” on video and I was doing a close reading of “Fish-Hair Woman” by Merlinda Bobis. I think she got curious, because the different a cappella groups had a sing-off (I’m not sure if that’s what they called it in the movie), and one of the categories required them to sing some songs about sex.
After listening to the songs and hearing the word “sex” a number times, my little girl turned to me and in all sweetness asked, “Mommy, what’s sex?”
My mind went blank when I heard the question, and there was a swift deliberation that went inside my head on whether or not I should tell my daughter what sex really is … and then a thought popped in my mind: what if she asks me how it is done? Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
“Mommy are you okay? Were you listening?” She prodded and I snapped out of my thoughts fully resolved to answer her question.
“Yes … I don’t know … ummm … why don’t you ask daddy later?” Yup it wasn’t my proudest moment as a mom, but the question really caught me off guard.
That night I told my husband about it and he burst out laughing.
“I’m glad you find it funny, but I think you better talk to her about it.” I said flashing him my most charming smile. But all I got in return was another burst of laughter with him saying “No way Jose” in between fits of hiccups. Well that was helpful … so what do two copping out parents do now?
I shared my dilemma to a couple of my closest friends, Reggie and Och, while having lunch with them at Harbor Square. Och came up with this totally useless but bawdy story (which I don’t dare share here) on how to explain it to my kid. His story made me laugh out loud though and he ended it by showing me the Durex balloon commercial in YouTube which was also terribly funny. Reggie, on the other hand, told me how her mom (knowing that Reggie was a bookworm) left a very enlightening book on the subject at a place where she knew Reggie would find it. That, according to Reggie worked for her. Hmmmm, maybe I should try the same thing with my daughter? However, even before I could contemplate the idea further, they both advised me to simply have a sit down conversation with my child about it.
Sigh, I know they’re both right and it cannot be helped. So recently, after giving it a lot of thought and weighing the pros and cons, I’ve decided to abandon the metaphorical birds and bees approach and opt for the scientific explanation instead. I’d rather have my child hear it from me than from a depraved source (the thought alone is making me nauseous). Now, if only I could muster up enough courage to actually do it … wish me luck :p